Privacy and the EU Directive

I’ve updated this website’s and the Crawling Chaos website’s privacy policies to comply with the UK version of the EU Cookie Directive, starting on 26 May 2012.  Basically, it’s a fudge.  See this Guardian article.

In essence, to comply, I’m maintaining everyone’s freedom to act including my own.  Cookies (the text files dumped in your computer by your browser) are used to store,,,, well, anything, actually!  I could use them to keep my shopping list….

They’re used by Google and other advertisers for advert tracking and by my sites for registration and commenting.  I could block registering and commenting, but then, it wouldn’t be very interactive, would it?  I note that the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website has a crap implementation of the directive, in that its cookie message cannot be removed unless you accept cookie use!  It takes up nearly a quarter of the screen!

So that’s all I’m saying.

You pays your money (in this case, nothing) and takes your choice.  You are implying your consent for cookie use by using my websites.

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Trafigura, BBC and the Stink from Two Views on Damages.

Introduction

Back in 2009, Trafigura nearly put the blockers on free speech and the reporting of parliament.  Twitter claimed to be part of this unlocking process…  whatever.  It was all to block the publication of the Minton Report.  A long BBC Newsnight video report was also blocked with the article mysteriously vanishing from the BBC website.

But Now?

Now the BBC article is found here, along with the banned video!  The video is below in two parts.  It was uploaded after its removal from the BBC website.

In the second part video, Trafigura boss Erich de Turckheim fatuously states that nothing untoward happened with the poisoning vessel, the Probo Koala whereas last year the company was fined (only sadly…) €1m for the very same poisoning.

Trafigura also state that the emails are selective and biaised.  Well I’ve read them and they totally back up the BBC story.  Here they are.

Alastair Mullis – his view of damages.

In this video, Mullis, a professor of law, states that because the BBC paid damages to Trafigura over their story, this implied guilt.  It took WikileaksJulian Assange to point out thje fallacy in this argument. See video below:

Trafigura’s View of Damages

Back in 2009, the BBC here told the Trafigura story which also includes a link to a statement from Trafigura here.  This Trafigura statement shows their view on the money that they had already paid to the Ivory Coast, prior to their EU fine.  It’s point 13:

The settlement involved no admission of liability. Trafigura believed that the settlement was the best way for the people of Abidjan, the Ivorian government and Trafigura to move forward.

The People’s View on Trafigura and Damages

W.T.F.?
Well Mullis & Trafigura are seriously at odds on their view of damages, aren’t they?  One says if you pay up then you are obviously guilty – the other says the opposite.  (Remarkably, this is very consistent with the damages paid out by Jesse Willms in his dodgy dealings, but that’s another story.  Willms of course chooses his own philanthropic view of customer service which is at odds with the thousands of complainees…)

The thousands of people affected by this corporate profiteering nonsense are of course left with bog-all except sores, child defects and an everlasting hatred for all things western.

This site has an even more enlightened view from the west about Trafigura.  Quoting the final piece:

The Trafigura case, like the financial crisis, suggests that in business there are people ruthless enough to shut their eyes to almost anything if they think they can make money.

Business without regulation is scarcely distinguishable from organised crime.

Regulation without strict enforcement is an open invitation to mess with people’s lives.

Tedious directives, state power and bureaucratic snooping – the interference that everyone professes to hate – are all that stand between civilisation and corporate hell.

Well said.  Jesse Willms take note!

Dangerous EffectiveCleanse – and Scams Too!

PreScript Advice

If you think you’ve had your bank ‘cleaned out’ by any of a multitude of ‘life cleanse’ or ‘colon cleanse’ type internet scams, there is only one real remedy
Ask for a charge-back against the company through you credit card company. Your reason, when asked, is that the company has either:

  1. Not adhered to their own claimed ‘Terms and Conditions’ or
  2. The company cannot be contacted through their advertised channels

If the company fails on any of these two key points they have no excuse not to refund you. In fact, if they deliberately make contact difficult, it’s criminal.

Introduction

Dangerous Scammer Investigation

danger-sign-crossIt all started with a ping to my website from the Drupal Forums (see http://drupal.org/node/608514).

It turns out that the webmaster was using a piss-poor Californian host called byet.org.  This host detected when an Amazon advert was going through and redirected it to the viper’s den called MyBookFace.net, taking a nice skim on the profits in the process (see my articles on the crippling con website here http://strangelyperfect.tv/5552/mybookface-crap/ and here http://strangelyperfect.tv/5612/mybookface-google-utah-and-nevis-scamboys-united/)

MyBookFace.Net Again

The redirect was still working on the user’s website (devoted to head and neck cancer, http://www.squamoussupport.info/).  The key bit is to click on the head and then the Amazon Store link in the bottom right.  Sure enough (today), you get taken to MyBookFace.net!!!

It’s like the return of a boil on the bum for me. Now, depending on how you access this shit-hole, you’ll see various things.

The first page is sometimes loaded with “White Teeth” ads, from you know who(see here and here for instance), which are accessed via a false newspaper ad containing the key(yukky)word “mom”.  Sometimes it’s Mary Steadman — again!

I’ve had two popups, several hours apart during my checks, that both claimed I was the lucky 1,000,00th visitor to the site and thus deserved a prize!  This popup by-passes the pop-up blocker in IE8.  Give it a go – you too can be the 1,000,000th visitor!!!

If you allow further pop-ups, the fun really starts!

More Fun With MyBookFace.Net Popups!

Danger GeneralDuring one session, using the ‘Private Browsing’ feature in Firefox, I got the Mary Steadman fake newspaper ad again – wahay!.  In this were two adverts; for Acai and Colon Cleansing.

They both originated from the same place and had similar designs.  The Acai one (at acaiberryexclusive.com) I left, because the Colon one has some VERY, VERY DANGEROUS CLAIMS in it.  (The Acai ones were very similar, actually, but I’m trying to keep this post short-ish)

EffectiveCleanse.com

EffectiveCleanse.com loads with the strap line “Life Cleanse”.  It’s contact address is in County Durham in the UK again! (just like all the UTAH scams).  This time the address is:

LB LFP Internet Ltd.,

101 Deneside,

Lanchester,

Co Durham,

DH7 0LZ,

UK

A small hunt for this address produced several companies, all apparently squashed into someone’s living room only a mile or so from the UTAH scammers elsewhere in Co Durham!  There are many unhappy folk about who’ve had dealings with companies at that address.  Similarly for the company name itself...

EffectiveCleanse Claims

Effective Cleanse Antioxidant. Get Your Risk-Free Order Trial Now
Effective Cleanse Antioxidant. Get Your Risk-Free Order Trial Now

Everything is visible on the full-screen dump in the image here by clicking on it.  Their claims would be laughable if they weren’t so dangerous. (In many respects, the claims are very similar to those of Monavie, currently being investigated by Vogel, Cyberxion, Food Tech of California and others on this entertaining post by LazyMan about the scurrilous Monavie here: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/monavie-scam-was-my-wife-recruited-sell-snake-oil/#comments)

  • Possible the most dangerous claim that this company makes is that it will “Repair Digestive Tract”!!!    This is seriously bad stuff.  There are only two ways to repair your gut and that’s either surgery or a massive dietary change, usually by stopping all alcohol intake, reducing fat consumption etc.  Some of the ingredients can relieve IBS and constipation by their topical application and ingestion from their fungicidal, antiseptic or mucilaginous  properties .  But this is not the same as “repairing the digestive tract” by any judgement.  Indeed some ingredients will make intestinal damage worse!
  • It also claims to break down DEADLY TOXINS!! Again this is a wholly unsubstantiated and untrue claim worthy of a prison sentence.  Let’s consider a few deadly toxins – cyanide & botulism, say.  Do you really think these few internet pills will stop death from cyanide?  Do you think that taking these pills would have saved the Jews in the cyanide gas chambers?  Of course not.  If they’d said “slightly bad toxins” that would have been more accurate.  But deadly?  That’s something else.
  • Helps prevent intestinal pathologies….  WTF! This one is good….  Pathology is the study and diagnosis of disease!  So they are claiming that this product will stop you from studying …er…various intestinal problems?  I repeat – WTF? !!!
  • The word “FLUSH” appears a lot – “flush out excess weight”, ” flush harmful toxins”.  Should it read “make you go to the bog a lot”, because it will.  Some of it’s ingredients also induce abortion and breast milk-flow but no warnings are given about this (shades of Thalidomide here).  Some have been found to cause cancer.  Some either bung you up or give you the trots dependant on the quantity taken!  It’s a bit of a fine balance between flush and bung.  I don’t think I’ll be using my guts as a testing ground!

Perhaps the funniest claim is that it will “Increase Focus and Energy”….   It’s a pity the author didn’t try and focus a bit harder.  Because further down the page is the mind-numbing misspelt paragraph which reads (I kid ye not):

According to National Geographic – “Human waste is a sinisteer(sic) world of monstrous creatures that feed on living flesh- Parasites” (sic) Parasites feed on Humans ams(sic) your body may house more than you know. The US alone contains widespread parasites accross(sic) the nation.

My spell-checker has gone berserk on that.  I can’t believe that National Geographic actually printed that!

And anyway, human waste in a healthy person is certainly not pathogenic.  The bacteria in one’s gut DO NOT “feed on living flesh” as they claim.  They are an essential part of living and without them, we’d all die.  If they mean worms etc, then again, they do not feed on your flesh – they feed on your gut contents!  They live on shit!

Terms Disagree with Claims

Effective Cleanse Antioxidant. Terms & Conditions
Effective Cleanse Antioxidant. Terms & Conditions

Well it had to be somewhere, didn’t it?  Despite all the criminally outrageous claims on their front page, their T&C actually states:

Our Products have not been evaluated by the FDA or EU Health Authorities, and Our Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Fortunately, they have a UK contact number of  0044 20305 10825, which makes it a London number.  Why not give them a call and see which bit is correct – does it cure, or doesn’t it?

You’ll also see here, in small print, only once, that you’ll be charged £69 per month for 30 days supply.  Except it’s written thus:  “At the end of your 15 day trial period you will be charged GBP 69.”

Of course, upon reading the consumer complaints listed at the bottom here, you’ll find that many people can’t get through on the phone.  In that case, the information on their FAQ page to the question:

I did not place this order and do not recognize the charge on the credit card statement. I think it is fraud.

…should be taken with a large grain of salt.  The answer they give is that making a false claim of fraud is a criminal offence.  Er..no.  It isn’t.  All you are doing is to resolve a dispute over charges to your credit card that you consider erroneous.  It’s not a criminal offence to dispute the bill!!!! This is what they say to frighten you, and it’s only to frighten you:

We take Credit Card fraud very seriously and considerate it a crime. Our Risk/Fraud Department will verify that the transaction is indeed fraud and was not ordered by you. In such case we kindly ask you to contact us and our Customer Service Team will be happy to assist you. Please prepare the following information before calling or writing to us: name on your credit card, descriptor(s) on the charges, amounts, and date(s) of the charges, your billing and shipping address.

We would like to inform you that making a false claim is a criminal offense and you will be prosecuted if such claim is made. All information that you provide us, along with all related log files and IP addresses will be forwarded to the local police department and district attorney. In addition the governmental cybercrime agency will use this data to investigate and establish the physical location and computer from which the account was created.

If you can’t contact them through the phone, as many have found to their cost, the above information is doubly bogus.

On the other hand, the claims they make for the product on their main landing page, really are criminal.  There is no way in hell that GSK et al would dare say anything like this.

Conclusion

Anyone who has read mine and other’s Google Treasure Chest, Acai, Government Grant and  Teeth-Whitening investigations will suspect that there’s more to this business than County Durham alone.  They hide their domain WHOIS for a start.

Because of their secretive nature, their misleading and dangerous claims which are in plain contradiction of their T&Cs, and the ‘unreliability’ (and that’s being generous) of their customer service as evidenced by the many complaints, this bunch of clowns are much worse than a comedy act.  Scammer or crook?  I couldn’t possibly say, but fetch me a bargepole to poke them away.  Tommy Cooper would say “Scam-Crook; Crook-Scam.  Scam-Crook; Crook-Scam.  Scam-Crook; Crook-Scam.”

I’ll finish now, using words taken directly from their webpage by saying :

The US alone contains widespread parasites accross(sic) the nation.

(Mostly in Utah, from my experience, but not exclusively in the US.)

Extra Links(Just a few of the many complaints about this lot):

Imprint of www.acaiberryexclusive.com
LB Cassiopeia Media Limited LB Cassiopeia Media Limited
118 Fines Park
Annfield Plain
Stanley
Co Durham
DH9 8QZ
Tel: United Kingdom +38 616 004 917
Imprint of www.effectivecleanse.com
LB Eridanus Entertainment Limited
57 Langden Close
Templetown
Consett
Co Durham DH8 7NG
Tel: United Kingdom +39 064 523 0442

Postscript (30/10/2009)

As with the Google Treasure Chest/Money Tree (Kit) bollox, because I’ve posted about the colon parasite scammers, this website is now attracting Google adverts from those very scammers.  I use advertising to help fund the costs, my payments in a round-a-bout way coming from the scammers!  I couldn’t possibly comment any further except  to point you to my privacy policy page.

Turkey Bans Google

I can’t vouch for the information as I don’t live in Turkey, but I’ve just found out that Turkey has blocked Google.com Google Groups from internet access for it’s citizens.  See:

Turkey & My Foreign Perspectives with Bea Vanni: Goodbye Google Alert: Hello More Bans for Turkey

While my Turkey blog is less frequent these days, I still track the latest and this one deserves attention. Now Google sites are banned in Turkey; this time the lawsuit hails from Denizli, home of a dear friend of mine.

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) reports that the Second Criminal Court of Peace in Denizli on June 24th banned Google and did not give a reason to add to the lame excuses of bans across Turkish Courts. When will Turkey learn that they cannot patrol the internet to any advantage of their state?

Turkey, internet and freedomNow this is quite serious – and weird.  Turkey, after all, contains NATO/US rocket bases and even wishes to join the EU.  Peace, friendship, allying and self-protection are all wonderful things.  But for most of them, we need some form of  common value system.

See this link for extra confirmation of the ban.  It also means that while people may write fondly of their Turkish holiday experiences, if they now pop into an internet cafe, their Google and YouTube queries or postings will draw a blank.

This is one measure of freedom in my book and puts a big question mark over Turkey’s status.

BTW, there’s even a Google Treasure Chest connection  here, because Turkey controls the northern part of Nicosia, Cyprus, which contains some of the addresses used in the GTC scam.